June 19, 2008

GPS - Safer, More Confident, Less Stressed Drivers

TomTom announced some findings from a study done by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Dutch research institute TNO saying that drivers felt more confident, less stressed and safer when using a GPS. It's no surprise here at the GPS Lodge when you think about all the places you can go and all of the things you can do when you let the GPS get you to where you want to go.

For me, a few prerequisites of feeling safer, more confident and less stressed is:

  1. Get a Good Quality GPS that has an easy interface to learn - this means skip the bargain bin. I also recommend Text to Speech if you are driving around town with the unit - it helps your recognition of which street you need to turn onto.
  2. Drive around your own town using the GPS to navigate to work, the gas station, and home again - you get used to how it works and what to expect. You'll be familiar with it when you hit the road and really need it.
  3. Check on the Route Overview before navigating - almost all units have an overview of the route. Before driving, you'll know in general terms which way you are going so there won't be any surprises.
  4. Know the settings - "Set it and Forget it" Don't decide while you are driving down the highway that you want a different color scheme or a new voice on the GPS. Make sure the settings are how you like them and simply navigate when you need to.
  5. Finally, don't be an idiot - This means no playing with the picture viewer showing off those pictures to your friends while driving down the highway.

The Full Information on the study follows.......

TomTom Inc. today announces that recent findings from leading US research institute Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Dutch research institute TNO prove the positive influence of portable navigation devices on driving and traffic safety. Key findings from the research showed that drivers using a portable navigation device experience less stress, pay more attention to the road and feel safer.

The key findings of the US research were as follows:

The use of portable navigation devices reduce driver's stress

  • In the survey, 72% of users indicate that they feel less stressed while using a portable navigation device. 70% feel calmer in the car, and 66% found that driving with a portable navigation device make them feel more relaxed.

    The use of portable navigation devices make it easier for users to keep their attention on the road

  • In the survey, 59% of American users indicate that the use of a portable navigation device makes it easier to keep their attention on the road

    The use of portable navigation devices has a positive effect on driver behavior

  • 60% of respondents feel safer in the car when driving with a portable navigation device

    "TomTom has always believed that our products provide drivers with added confidence on the road," said Jocelyn Vigreux, president of TomTom Inc. "These key findings from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and TNO confirm our long-held belief that driving safely and efficiently go hand-in-hand with the quality navigation TomTom delivers. Our customers are our priority and we will continue to lead the market in developing and implementing innovative safety features such as handsfree calling, speed limit warnings, and TomTom's 'Help Me!' emergency menu."

    About the research

    Along with a consumer survey fielded to 1,036 Americans conducted by TNO, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied drivers' behavior among participants between 21 and 50 years old. Navigation with a portable navigation device was compared to navigation by conventional means (e.g. maps and digital Internet route planners) when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination. All comments and insights gathered were rolled into the study findings. The research in the U.S. was conducted concurrently with other prominent research organizations in five European countries over a three month period. The key findings from all countries was completed in May 2008.* The results from this research are supported by a similar research conducted by TNO in The Netherlands in 2007.

    Read More in: TomTom GPS News

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    Posted by Scott Martin at June 19, 2008 6:58 AM
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